La Canicula is a period of time during the year; June 20 through August 20. Historically, it is a period astrologically dominated by Sirius, the Dog Star. It is traditionally the hottest time of the year. Wikipedia says that the duration occilates between four and seven weeks, the “dog days”. In times past, this was an astologically beneficial time to begin to build a house or a church.
If you talk to un anciano in Mexico, at least in this area, and you get around to talking about the weather (probably right away!), you will hear that the times are changing - “Como han cambiado los tiempos,” says Socorro. She doesn’t mean only that customs have changed, but that the weather is changing as well. El Tiempo De Los Aguas, the rainy season, used to be from some time in June through August, but now the rain comes later, (because of the greenhouse effect?), as well as the effects of La Canicula. It’s a rather ugly-sounding word to me, and some of its effects are ugly, as well.
One year when we visited here during La Canicula there were many little worms in the orange tree and the lime tree. Worms are a symptom of La Canicula. This year some baby swallows hatched in our portål were killed by small orange worms, only last week. Also last week, after the official end of La Canicula, we had to “treat” our fields for green worms that were eating the sworls of the milo. This is very frustrating to see, and costly to treat.
We have had several days of rain now, at the beginning of September. Oh, with what anxiety we awaited the rains, because of our “modest” investment in seed, weed killer and fertilizer of about $4,000 for our 26 acres. And now that the milo has passed its initial danger of not sprouting, or dying of lack of water, now the rainy season is here.
Some days it is too wet to spray the weeds or the worms that are showing their destructive power in the fields.
There were several local Catholic masses pleading for rain, and now that it is here, some of the old people are tired of it. We supersticiously try not to send the rains away with our wishes or curses. Because of our construction efforts, we seem to spend an inordinate amount of time sweeping water off the roof, and wishing that our workers could move just a little faster.